Four students from the Acera School of Winchester earned recognition for Best Delegate, Best Negotiator, and Best Position Paper during the sixth annual Commonwealth Middle School Model UN Conference in April. The event focused on a variety of global crises, as well as historical and futuristic simulations.
At the April 17th Conference, Acera students Ash Carreiro and Georgie Linscott were awarded Best Negotiator and Best Delegate for their representation as part of the Second Punic War JCC committee. The simulation was set in 218 BC, at the start of the second of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC.
Calvin Collins-Knapp earned Best Position Paper for his submission representing Kenya in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Committee on Artificial Intelligence Ethics. In the simulation, the Committee was tasked with discussing the issues and opportunities modern AI presents, as well as coming up with solutions and policies to prevent misuse and harm.
Finally, Maria Zacharia was named Best Negotiator for her representation of Ares in the Illiad Joint Crisis Committee. In this Model UN simulation, delegates represented individual central figures of the Trojan War.
At Model UN conferences, students are divided into separate committees, with a public speaking coach — a business or legal professional, or a collegiate MUN expert — assigned to each committee. The coach supports students as they write their opening speeches and observe the first committee session and provide feedback on each delegate’s public speaking, negotiation, and persuasion skills.
“At this conference, I saw new students jumping in to their first conference and speaking up, and I watched returning students getting involved in negotiations and writing resolutions that reflected the spirit of the UN,” said Vanessa Roman, Acera teacher and Model UN advisor. “One of the best parts of the day was watching the committee chairs – four of them were Acera alumni – leading the various committees with confidence and ease.”
“Learning to take on a perspective that is not your own, and solving problems with a systemic view in mind is exactly what is at the heart of this kind of an event,” said Courtney Dickinson, founder and director of Acera School. “These are attributes we foster at Acera.”
Founded in 2010, Acera engages students in individualized, project-based learning that is designed around their passions and aligned with their own abilities. In addition to K-10 education, Acera offers daily after-school enrichment programs as well as February, April, and summer vacation camps. For more information, visit aceraschool.org.